It takes a lot more than blood to create the sort of father-child bond that lasts a lifetime.
Hank Blankenship of Salem, Virginia has been married to his wife, Deidre, for thirteen years. Both Deidre and Hank are deaf, and when they got together, Deidre brought with her children Cassidy and Alexander from a previous marriage. The couple has since grown their family by having two more children of their own, and Hank has always worked hard to be a great father to all four kids, both biological and not.
“He has solely supported and provided for [Cassidy] with love and financial needs since she was 2,” Deidre said. “This is the man that she has come to know as ‘dad.’ My husband loves Cassidy as his own and he has been her full time father in many ways: financially, emotionally and psychologically.”
When Cassidy turned 15, she decided to ask Hank to make their relationship official by legally adopting her. Together with her mother, Cassidy put together an elaborate set-up for Hank, taking place at a typical family dinner when he was least expecting it!
Hank was halfway through his dinner when Deidre interrupted him, asking him in sign language to come sit in the next room for a few minutes. Once in the room, Cassidy came in with a cardboard sign she’d made, emblazoned with the words, “Any man can be a father, but it takes a special man to be a dad.”
Hank already appears to be getting emotional, but this is just the tip of the iceberg! Deidre sends over the couple’s biological children, Savannah and Trey, who are both wearing t-shirts with a sweet by cryptic message on them:
“We want a whole brother and sister, not halves,” the shirts declare.
Hank then opens a gift containing a t-shirt of his own with the message, “Being a dad requires love, not DNA.”
Hank seems to see where this is going, judging by the way he keeps having to dab at his eyes as he opens his gifts, but he’s still thinking there must be a prank of some sort coming!
Finally, he reads the letter in the gift bag, and he finds out what this whole event is really about. Cassidy wants him to be her dad in the eyes of the law. He quickly stands and wraps his daughter in a huge hug, but there’s one last surprise in store for Hank.
His step-son Alexander appears from off-camera just then, holding an envelope of his own. “I’ve got one too,” he says simply, and that’s when the tears really start to flow!
Poor Hank, who is normally the stoic type who doesn’t show much emotion, is visibly weeping as he signs to his family, “Thank you, I really appreciate it. As you can see, I’m crying.”
It’s so heartwarming to see a blended family making it official like this! Hank’s love for all four of his children is evident not just by the words he speaks, but in his actions. It takes a strong man to take on another’s children and love them as you would your own.
Congratulations, Blankenship family!
Watch Hank’s emotional surprise below, and be sure to share!
The post Deaf Father Thinks Kids Are Pranking Them, Then Reads Letter & Breaks Down. appeared first on InspireMore.